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Thread: Sunbeam EM4800 - questions

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Sunbeam EM4800 - questions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there

    I recently purchased a Sunbeam EM4800, & being new to home coffee machines, Im not sure about a few things Ive noticed:

    1) Sometimes after pouring an Espresso, there seems to be a build up of pressure, & when the group handle is removed, it is suddenly released with some mess if Im not careful

    2) With the first pour, quite a lot of steam is released. *I get past this by purging a bit before inserting the group head
    pouring, but wonder whether this is normal behaviour?

    3) Noticed a small length (approx 4 cm) of very thin silicone like material drop today after removing the group head - what was that & will its absence cause problems?

    Has anyone experienced the same? *Any feedback would be much appreciated!



  2. #2
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Just North of Brisbane

    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 - questions

    I had trouble with the build up of pressure as well. Try a courser grind or do not tamp as hard. The courser grind fixed my problem with the blow out. Also leave the PF attached until you hear the release into the drip tray, it makes a distinctive noise.

    The steam release after pouring espresso is the pressure release and is probably associated with the build up in pressure. I had this as well but after adjusting the grins I dont get this anymore.

    The silicone strip may be part of your group head seal. I would remove it and see if it was damaged? :-/

    I havent done this yet but the instructions are in the manual.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 - questions

    I find that by getting a tamper, i can produce a cleanish, slightly fragmented puck even though it does not have a proper 3 way solenoid valve.

    Got the barista pack (40 bucks at the chadstone mall mid year sales) that had a tamper perfectly suited for the 53mm baskets that came with the unit.

    The included spoon/tamper does not tamp properly and water would not have even pressure. Hence, you would be using a grind that is quite fine --> resulting in a puck that has the consistency of mashed potatoes.

    The barista pack tamper allowed me to grind one whole click coarser on my EM0480 grinder. The coarser grind lets coffee seep out almost completely after waiting for awhile (eg. after you steam your milk). I also found that i can consistently pull 25s shots on the single basket!! (Its very very very difficult to do with the included spoon/tamper)

    Steam your milk first before removing the portafilter. The time lets the coffee seep through. The puck should be dry if you are using fresh beans/grounds.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 - questions


    The pressure build up in normal for machines that do not have three way valves.
    When you pull a shot, there is a pressure buildup [hopefully at 9 bar] to drive the water through the puck. When you have finished, that pressure still remains, hence if you dont slowly release the PF you get PF sneeze.

    More expensive machines use three way valves which can:
    1. Allow flow from the boiler into the group
    2. Vent of said pressure & water into the drip tray.
    3. Isolate the brew path form the boiler to allow more thorough cleaning.

    If there is any sign of steam at the brew head, the brew water temperature will be too high and you shot will bitter.
    However, most machines exhibit some form of heat build up.
    If you can purge/flush prior to pulling the shot that will help, you may be able to do this via the steam wand as well if your machine is boiler based.

  5. #5
    VC is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 - questions

    My two cents in response to your issues...

    1) Try either tamping less hard or try a coarser grind. I have an EM0480 grinder and am using it on "18" at the moment. When I tried to pull a shot at "12", the pressure that the pump had to work against meant a minimal flowrate, burnt coffee, and pressure behind the puck that released when I dislodged the handle.

    2) Yes, purging by turning the dial multiple times if required) to the espresso side will help. Do it until you get a steady run of water and no recovery noise when you turn the dial back to the centre. I tend to do it about 4 times or so. This is especially true if you steam the milk first.

    3) 4sm silicone-like material, hey? Weird... The only thing silicone-like behind the shower screen is the seal. Use a short screwdriver to unscrew the central screw in the shower screen, remove the screw and the washer, lift out the shower screen with a fork, and you should see a circular rubber seal intact. If its shredded... youll need to replace it... will cost about $5. But no reason why it should be shredded? As in, it actually came through the shower screen?!? Weird...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: Sunbeam EM4800 - questions

    Looks like Stephen K has gone... I have the same machine using an EM0480 and non-pressurised basket.

    1) I find if you tamp and grind correctly, there will always be a sneeze, wait until youve steamed the milk for the few drops of liquid to seep through to drop the pressure. Another hint is to turn the dial straight from coffee to steam when your shot is poured. You get voracious steam if youve just come off a 25 second pour.

    4) My seal died in 4-5 months. The seal had a thin crack running around the circumference of where the PF meets the seal, but thinking about it a thin strip could have come off when it happened.

    I previously had a EM3600 which died after a year because the screw that held the seal/shower screen in, corroded itself to the group head. So for anyone with an machine like this (aluminium thermo block), make sure you can back that screw out before your 1 year warranty is up (you’ll need a short stubby x). If you cant, take it back for a replacement / refund. If you can, I was told to put some Vaseline on the threads before putting the screw in.

    On a sub-note, forget getting these machines serviced in WA, there are only 2 agents remaining from the original 7 and they have 100s of automatic Sunbeam coffee machines backlogged.

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